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Only Tinubu will decide new date for 2023 census – NPC


National Population Commission has said that only President Ahmed Bola Tinubu will decide the date for the 2023 National Population and Housing Census.

Federal Commissioner of the National Population Commission (NPC), Enugu State, Hon. Ejike Eze who spoke at a breakfast meeting with media executives in Enugu on the forthcoming National Population and Housing Census, allayed fears that the new administration might discontinue the census exercise.

Eze stated that the President being an accountant and technocrat, appreciates the importance of census information in national planning, especially in policy and programme formulation, budgeting, among others.

He also said that the NPC accepted decision of the last administration to postpone the conduct of the census in order to give the new administration the opportunity to make inputs into the process.

Eze further disclosed that it allowed the commission perfect its processes and systems for the conduct of the first ever digital National Population and Housing Census in Nigeria.

He said; “As you are aware, the Commission has carried out all the preparatory activities towards the census such as the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD), conduct of pre tests and trial census, recruitment and training of census field staff, procurement and configuration of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), establishment of ICT infrastructure across the country and logistics support and advocacy and publicity activities.

“Conscious of the enormous human and material resources that have been expended in the implementation of these preparatory activities, the most important task before the commission is to sustain and reinforce the relevance of these activities to the successful conduct of the 2023 Census. This will ensure that the nation does not have to start afresh, the conduct of the census thereby saving costs.

“The processes and systems put in place for the census are therefore being currently reviewed to determine what needs to be done to ensure that the preparations do not become obsolete for the census. The focus of the commission is to ensure that all the resources expended so far are safeguarded and that the nation does not need to start all over when the census is going to be conducted.

“For us at NPC, this is not a difficult task. In coming up with the plan for the 2023 Census, we were not only looking at the immediate needs of delivering the next census, but concerned more with laying a solid foundation for future censuses.

“This mindset informed the scope and quality of arrangements put in place. For example, the EAD, which involved the division of the country into small land areas, was meticulously undertaken in such a way that only an update will be required for future censuses. Using satellite imageries, the Enumeration Areas (EAs) were all geo referenced with the coordinates of all the buildings established. The products of the EAD are currently being used by other government agencies.”

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